Sunday, February 15, 2015

Being 40 and being true to myself

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” – Hardy D. Jackson

It is time for me to to be true to myself.  It feels good to be true to oneself.  There is nothing like it. While there are surely worse things, having no sense of identity is bad enough.  I have been there. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted.  Being 40 is about a young person who is settled and all grown up.  Being 40 does not mean half of one's life is over.  It means that a 40 year old knows who they are and what they want.  We should not define ourselves by what the world thinks.  We have enough wisdom that we cannot be considered young and naive, but we are young enough in that we are still growing because we are not in old age yet.  I guess some people would consider that midlife, but that sentence could describe someone who is 30 as well as 40.

Anyway, I would like to write about who I am and what I really want when it comes to the issue of my health and my weight.  It took me until I was 40 that I have been in a cycle of being overwhelmed because of unhealthy eating habits for years.  I felt guilty about being overweight.  It didn't help matters that I cared so much about what others thought about me.  I wasn't always overweight however.  I wanted to go back to that time when I wasn't overweight.  That was back when I was in high school, over 20 years ago.

The truth is, I cannot go back 20 years, nor do I find it realistic.  On the other hand, I would like to feel that I am proud of myself and my appearance.  I worked hard on that appearance and I felt great about my appearance.  I could easily find clothes to wear for instance.  The truth is, now I wish I felt that way about myself.  I am not healthy and I am on medication for various health conditions including blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  I feel guilty and wish I didn't let myself go.

I have low self esteem and that was part of the reason why.  Now I weigh almost 300 lbs and the truth of the matter is, that though I have my own opinions about weight and how I would be viewed, I don't always see it about myself.  I tend to look down on myself and compare myself to others.  Why don't I have a flat stomach and a bigger butt?  Why is my butt flat or small?  How come how I look is considered unattractive?  It doesn't help that that is how I really feel about myself.  I am and have been self-conscious about my appearance for most of my adulthood.

I know I have PCOS and that has not been easy to deal with, but there are times when I wish I didn't allow myself to be so overweight.  I was about 165 lbs when I was in high school.  I was ashamed to talk about my weight because I was so thin.  At least I was about as thin as I could have been.  I have a large frame so I guess 160 lbs or so was the smallest I could be with my frame at my height.  No matter word, it seems that I will never be enough for the world.  That has been my problem.  I care way too much about what others think of me.

I have a disorder and it is up to me to take better care of myself.  Whether I weigh 100, 200, or 300, what matters is that there is a weight that is healthy for me and a weight that is not.  Weighing nearly 300 lbs. is not healthy for me and neither is weighing 100 lbs.  I have gotten so caught up in how much to weigh and other things that I forgot the greater details.  Health and being at a healthy weight matters.  But if I wanted to weigh a specified number, then 200 lbs would be that number.  I would like a little meat on my bones but at the same time I am not so unhealthy that my feet hurt, which is what is going on now.  I have grown out of listening to the noise of the world saying this, that, and the other, because of my weight.  I am just as good and just as important as the rest of the world.

Real beauty is in the eye of the beholder, including myself.  The world may see me as unattractive or even in denial but it is up to me to see myself as beautiful which I always have not.  I know that I am not healthy and that is because I am clinically obese.  Having said all of that, I can choose to be overweight, underweight, or at an average weight.  No one has to be fat, thin, or average sized.  We all have choices to make and my choice is to be healthy and have a healthy sense of self.  Can a fat or thin person have a healthy sense of self?  I think so, but it depends upon how the person see his or herself.  I choose to see myself as a beautiful, kind person whose goal is to be healthy.  Health is about fitness, healthy eating, and overall well being.

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